Committee stage and third reading of the Electoral Registration and Administration Bill

28 June 2012

The House of Commons held the third day of consideration of the Electoral Registration Bill in Committee of the whole House and third reading on Wednesday 27 June. The Bill will now be sent to the House of Lords for consideration.

Electoral Registration and Administration Bill

The Bill makes provision for the introduction of individual electoral registration by 2015. Transitional arrangements will allow the use of data matching to verify applications to be included on the electoral register and also allow the 'carry forward' of electors who are not verified so that they will remain on the first register published under the new system. The annual canvass of electors is retained although powers are given to the Secretary of State to amend, abolish or reinstate it at a later date.

A civil penalty is introduced for those who do not apply to be registered when required to do so by the Electoral Registration Officer.

Other electoral administration measures in the Bill include extending the electoral timetable for Parliamentary elections from 17 to 25 days. The Secretary of State is also given the power to withhold or reduce a Returning Officer's fee because of poor performance

Progress of the Bill

The Electoral Registration and Administration Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 10 May 2012 and received second reading on 23 May 2012.

Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation on the Electoral Registration and Administration Bill and find out how a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament

House of Commons Library analysis

The House of Commons Library produce briefing papers to inform MPs of key issues. The Library has published a briefing paper for second reading.

Committee stage proceedings: 18 June 2012

MPs considered in the following order; Clause 1 and Amendment 2, Schedule 1 and Amendment 3, Clause 2 and Amendment 1, Schedule 2 and Amendment 5, Clause 3, Clause 4 and Amendments 6 and 9.

Clause 1, which relates to individual registration, was agreed to. Amendment 2 was defeated on a division (Ayes 209; Noes 291).

Schedule 1, which relates to register of electors: alterations and removal, was agreed to. Amendment 3 was withdrawn.

Clause 2, which relates to applications for registration and verification of entitlement etc, was agreed to. Amendment 1 was withdrawn.

Schedule 2, which relates to sharing and checking information etc, was agreed to. Amendment 5 was withdrawn.

Clause 3, which relates to proxies to be registered electors, was agreed to.

Amendment 6 was defeated on a division (Ayes 211; Noes 287). Amendment 9 was defeated on a division (Ayes 209; Noes 291). Both amendments relate to Clause 4 (annual canvass).

The Bill will be considered further in Committee of the whole House on Monday 25 and Wednesday 27 June.

Watch and read the committee stage proceedings on Parliament TV and in Commons Hansard.

Committee stage proceedings: 25 June 2012

MPs considered in the following order; Clause 4, Clause 6 and amendment 22, Clauses 7 and 8, Clause 9 and amendment 32, Clause 5 and amendments 12 and 33, Schedule 3, Schedule 5 and amendments 20 and 18.

Clause 4, which relates to annual canvass, was agreed to.

Clause 6, which relates to power to amend or abolish the annual canvass, was agreed to. Amendment 22 was withdrawn.

Clauses 7 and 8, which relate to consulting Electoral Commission about proposals under section 6 and piloting of changes to the annual canvass, were agreed to.

Clause 9, which relates to piloting registration provisions, was agreed to. Amendment 32 was withdrawn.

Clause 5, which relates to invitations to register, was agreed to. Amendments 12 and 33 were both withdrawn.

Schedule 3, which relates to civil penalty for failing to make application when required by registration officer was agreed to.

Schedule 5, which relates to transitional provision to do with Part 1 of the Bill, was agreed to. Amendment 20 was defeated on a division (Ayes 206; Noes 276). Amendment 18 was defeated on a division (Ayes 205; Noes 275).

Watch and read the committee stage proceedings on Parliament TV and in Commons Hansard.

Committee stage proceedings and third reading: 27 June 2012

MPs considered in the following order; Clauses 10-12, Schedule 4 and amendments 39 and 35, Clauses 13 and 14, Clause 15 and amendment 38, Clauses 16-21, New Clauses 1, 3 and 4, Clauses 22-24 and amendment 31, and Clauses 25 and 26.

Clauses 10-12 were agreed to.

Schedule 4, which relates to amendments to do with Part 1 of the Bill, was agreed to. Amendment 39 was withdrawn. Amendment 35 was defeated on a division (Ayes 188; Noes 266).

Clauses 13 and 14 were agreed to.

Clause 15, which relates to alteration of electoral registers: pending elections, was agreed to. Amendment 38 was withdrawn.

Clauses 16-21 were agreed to.

New Clauses 1 and 3 were withdrawn. New Clause 4 was defeated on a division (Ayes 211; Noes 284).

Clauses 22-24 were agreed to. Amendment 31 was defeated on a division (Ayes 204; Noes 293).

Clauses 25 and 26 were agreed to.

The Bill received third reading after a division (Ayes 284; Noes 204).

Watch and read the committee stage proceedings and thrid reading on Parliament TV and in Commons Hansard.

Committee of the Whole House

The term Committee of the whole House means that a Bill can be discussed in detail by all Members. In the Commons this usually takes place in a Public Bill Committee, outside the Chamber, but occasionally a Bill will be considered in a Committee of the whole House in the main Chamber. The Bill may also subsequently be considered in a Public Bill Committee.

Any Bill can be referred to a Committee of the whole House but the procedure is normally reserved for finance Bills and other important, controversial legislation.

What happens at third reading?

Debate on the Bill is usually short, and limited to what is actually in the Bill, rather than, as at second reading, what might have been included.

Amendments (proposals for change) cannot be made to a Bill at third reading in the Commons.

At the end of the debate, the House decides (votes on) whether to approve the third reading of the Bill.

What happens after third reading?

If the Bill started in the Commons it goes to the House of Lords for its first reading.

If the Bill started in the Lords it returns to the House of Lords for consideration of any amendments the Commons has made.

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